Turmeric

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Tumeric is a plant that provides various health benefits due to its active components called curcuminoids. Research shows that curcuminoids help reduce the risk of having a heart attack by improving the circulatory system’s ability to regulate blood clotting and blood pressure [1]. Curcuminoids are also able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, where they protect brain cells from oxidative damage, inflammation, and protein buildup (amyloid plaques) that is linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease [2, 3]. Furthermore, ample research has been conducted on turmeric’s primary curcuminoid called curcumin.

This particular nutrient has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to disrupt various stages of inflammation [4-6]. More specifically, curcumin hinders the activity of inflammatory proteins that can travel into the body’s cells and activate genes that trigger inflammation [7, 8]. Furthermore, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties are so strong that it dramatically improves processes in the body assist in the prevention of cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, metabolic, neoplastic, autoimmune, and pulmonary diseases [9-13].

In addition, curcumin has the capacity to target free radicals (toxins) and it also enhances the activity of antioxidant enzymes the body naturally produces [14-18]. Curcumin further boosts brain health by enhancing the production of a growth hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that plays a role in the formation of neurons in the brain and new neuronal connections [19, 20]. By boosting the levels of BDNF, curcumin heightens mental function (e.g. concentration, memory) and the body’s ability to reverse or delay age-related cognitive impairments as well as different types of brain diseases [21, 22].

Additionally, curcumin demonstrates anti-cancer properties through its capacity to hinder the growth, development, and metastasis (spread) of cancer cells [23, 24]. More specifically, it disrupts the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, thereby hindering metastasis and promoting the death of cancer cells, especially cancerous cells in the colon [25-27]. Research also shows that curcumin can reduce the number of precancerous lesions that can potentially differentiate into cancerous tumors [27]. This means curcumin improves bodily processes that prevent the onset or progression of various diseases, including those that are age-related [28-30].

Curcumin is safely and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, but according to research, combining it with Bioperine improves its absorption by approximately 2000% [31]. Bioperine, which is also known as piperine, is an extract from black pepper that is well known for its ability to dramatically enhance the body’s absorption of other nutrients [32]. However, this potent mineral also targets joint and muscle pain as well as bronchitis, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease through its ability to disrupt inflammatory and plaque-forming processes [32-38].

In addition to these benefits, Bioperine is frequently combined with other vitamins, herbs, and minerals because it safely increases the bioavailability of essential nutrients [31, 34]. For instance, consuming Bioperine regularly enhances the levels of selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin C that the body extracts from food [32]. It also boosts metabolism by improving nutrient absorption in the digestive tract and the bloodstream [31]. Therefore, the combination of Bioperine and the curcuminoids in turmeric can dramatically improve overall health when they are taken regularly.

References

1.        Wongcharoen W, Jai-Aue S, Phrommintikul A, Nawarawong W, Woragidpoonpol S, Tepsuwan T, Sukonthasarn A, Apaijai N, Chattipakorn N. Effects of curcuminoids on frequency of acute myocardial infarction after coronary artery bypass grafting. Am J Cardiol. 2012;110(1):40-4.

2.        Mishra S, Palanivelu K. The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer's disease: An overview. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008;11(1):13-9.

3.        Zhang L, Fiala M, Cashman J, Sayre J, Espinosa A, Mahanian M, Zaghi J, Badmaev V, Graves MC, Bernard G, Rosenthal M. Curcuminoids enhance amyloid-beta uptake by macrophages of Alzheimer's disease patients. J Alzheimers Dis. 2006;10(1):1-7.

4.        Nagpal M, Sood S. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2013; 4(1): 3–7.

5.        Tayyem RF, Heath DD, Al-Delaimy WK, Rock CL. Curcumin content of turmeric and curry powders. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(2):126-31.

6.        Jurenka JS. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Altern Med Rev. 2009;14(2):141-53.

7.        SinghS, Aggarwal BB. Activation of Transcription Factor NF-κB Is Suppressed by Curcumin (Diferuloylmethane). J Bio  Chem. 1995; 270:24995-25000.

8.        Marín YE, Wall BA, Wang S, Namkoong J, Martino JJ, Suh J, Lee HJ, Rabson AB, Yang CS, Chen S, Ryu JH. Curcumin downregulates the constitutive activity of NF-kappaB and induces apoptosis in novel mouse melanoma cells. Melanoma Res. 2007;17(5):274-83.

9.        Chainani-Wu N. Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa). J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Feb;9(1):161-8.

10.        Goel A, Boland CR, Chauhan DP. Specific inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression by dietary curcumin in HT-29 human colon cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 2001;172(2):111-8.

11.        Aggarwal BB, Harikumar KB. Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2009;41(1):40-59.

12.        Lal B, Kapoor AK, Asthana OP, Agrawal PK, Prasad R, Kumar P, Srimal RC. Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis. Phytother Res. 1999 Jun;13(4):318-22.

13.        Takada Y, Bhardwaj A, Potdar P, Aggarwal BB. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-kappaB activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation. Oncogene. 2004;23(57):9247-58.

14.        Menon VP1, Sudheer AR.Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:105-25.

15.        Barclay LR, Vinqvist MR, Mukai K, Goto H, Hashimoto Y, Tokunaga A, Uno H. On the antioxidant mechanism of curcumin: classical methods are needed to determine antioxidant mechanism and activity. Org Lett. 2000;2(18):2841-3.

16.        Agarwal R, Goel SK, Behari JR. Detoxification and antioxidant effects of curcumin in rats experimentally exposed to mercury. J Appl Toxicol. 2010;30(5):457-68.

17.        Bulmus FG, Sakn F, Turk G, Sonmez M, Servi K. Protective effects of curcumin on antioxidant status, body weight gain, and reproductive parameters in male rats exposed to subchronic 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Tox Envir Chem. 2013; 95(6):1019-1029.

18.        Biswas SK, McClure D, Jimenez LA, Megson IL, Rahman I. Curcumin induces glutathione biosynthesis and inhibits NF-kappaB activation and interleukin-8 release in alveolar epithelial cells: mechanism of free radical scavenging activity. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2005;7(1-2):32-41.

19.        Xu Y, Ku B, Tie L, Yao H, Jiang W, Ma X, Li X. Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB. Brain Res. 2006;1122(1):56-64.

20.        Hurley LL, Akinfiresoye L, Nwulia E, Kamiya A, Kulkarni AA, Tizabi Y. Antidepressant-like effects of curcumin in WKY rat model of depression is associated with an increase in hippocampal BDNF. Behav Brain Res. 2013;239:27-30.

21.        Dong S, Zeng Q, Mitchell ES, Xiu J, Duan Y, Li C, Tiwari JK, Hu Y, Cao X, Zhao Z. Curcumin enhances neurogenesis and cognition in aged rats: implications for transcriptional interactions related to growth and synaptic plasticity. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31211.

22.        Belviranlı M, Okudan N, Atalık KE, Öz M. Curcumin improves spatial memory and decreases oxidative damage in aged female rats. Biogerontology. 2013;14(2):187-96.

23.        Aggarwal BB, Kumar A, Bharti AC. Anticancer potential of curcumin: preclinical and clinical studies. Anticancer Res. 2003;23(1A):363-98.

24.        Anand P, Sundaram C, Jhurani S, Kunnumakkara AB, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin and cancer: an "old-age" disease with an "age-old" solution. Cancer Lett. 2008;267(1):133-64.

25.        Ravindran J, Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin and cancer cells: how many ways can curry kill tumor cells selectively? AAPS J. 2009;11(3):495-510.

26.        Kawamori T, Lubet R, Steele VE, Kelloff GJ, Kaskey RB, Rao CV, Reddy BS. Chemopreventive effect of curcumin, a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent, during the promotion/progression stages of colon cancer. Cancer Res. 1999;59(3):597-601.

27.        Carroll RE, Benya RV, Turgeon DK, Vareed S, Neuman M, Rodriguez L, Kakarala M, Carpenter PM, McLaren C, Meyskens FL Jr, Brenner DE. Phase IIa clinical trial of curcumin for the prevention of colorectal neoplasia. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011;4(3):354-64.

28.        Sikora E, Scapagnini G, Barbagallo M. , inflammation, ageing and age-related diseases. Immun Ageing. 2010;7(1):1.

29.        Sikora E, Bielak-Zmijewska A, Mosieniak G, Piwocka K. The promise of slow down ageing may come from curcumin. Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(7):884-92.

30.        Chandran B, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012;26(11):1719-25.

31.        Shoba G, Joy D, Joseph T, Majeed M, Rajendran R, Srinivas PS. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med. 1998;64(4):353-6.

32.        McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.

33.        Umar S, Golam Sarwar AH, Umar K, Ahmad N, Sajad M, Ahmad S, Katiyar CK, Khan HA. Piperine ameliorates oxidative stress, inflammation and histological outcome in collagen induced arthritis. Cell Immunol. 2013; 284(1-2):51-9.

34.        Bano G, Amla V, Raina RK, et al. The effect of piperine on pharmacokinetics of phenytoin in healthy volunteers. Planta Med 1987;53:568-9.

35.        Khardwaj RK, Glaeser H, Becquemont L, et al. Piperine, a major constituent of black pepper, inhibits human P-glycoprotein and CYP3A4. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2002;302:645-50.

36.        Prakash UN, Srinivasan K. Gastrointestinal protective effect of dietary spices during ethanol-induced oxidant stress in experimental rats. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2010 Apr;35(2):134-41

37.        Diwan V, Poudyal H, Brown L. Piperine attenuates cardiovascular, liver and metabolic changes in high carbohydrate, high fat-fed rats. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2013;67(2):297-304. 

38.        Shrivastava P, Vaibhav K, Tabassum R, et al.  Anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effect of Piperine on 6-OHDA induced Parkinson's rat model. J Nutr Biochem. 2013;24(4):680.

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